For instance, iron changes from a body-centered cubic structure (ferrite) to a face-centered cubic structure (austenite) above 906 °C, and tin undergoes a modification known as tin pest from a metallic form to a semiconductor form below 13.2 °C (55.8 °F).
In cold conditions, β-tin tends to transform spontaneously into α-tin, a phenomenon known as "tin pest" or "tin disease".
Tin pest can occur in lead-free solders, leading to loss of the soldered joint.
Another coating issue is tin pest, the transformation of tin to a powdery allotrope at low temperature.
This can cause tin objects in cold temperatures to crumble to gray powder in a process known as tin pest or tin rot.
Tin pest is an autocatalytic, allotropic transformation of the element tin, which causes deterioration of tin objects at low temperatures.
Tin pest has also been called tin disease, tin blight or tin leprosy (lèpre d'étain).
With the adoption of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) regulations in Europe, and similar regulations elsewhere, traditional lead/tin solder alloys in electronic devices have been replaced by nearly pure tin, introducing tin pest and related problems such as tin whiskers.
This frequently makes tin objects (like buttons) decompose into powder during the transformation, hence the name tin pest.
the mere presence of tin pest leads to more tin pest.
The cause of the empty tins could have been related to tin pest.
The story is often told of Napoleon's men freezing in the bitter Russian Winter, their clothes falling apart as tin pest ate the buttons.
Laboratory tests provide evidence that the time required for unalloyed tin to develop significant tin pest damage at lowered temperatures is about 18 months, which is more than twice the length of the invasion.
With the adoption of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) regulations in Europe and California banning most uses of lead, and similar regulations elsewhere, the problem of tin pest has returned, since some manufacturers who previously used tin/lead alloys now use predominately tin based alloys.
Tin pest can be avoided by alloying with small amounts of electropositive metals or semimetals soluble in tin's solid phase, e.g. antimony or bismuth, which prevent the decomposition.